By Chris Mc Loone
For the fire industry, 2016 continued the rebound many markets have been going through since the economy began its recovery.
Several examples came in the form of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) – some small and some that generated a lot of buzz throughout the industry. This market is a mature market, and the M&A activity is not likely to stop, although the pace at which it occurs will probably fluctuate. For those companies that merged, often they enjoy expanded research, development, and engineering resources at their disposal to improve existing products and develop new ones. For those remaining largely independent, the economy has rebounded to the point where they can reinvest in their products, and orders for new equipment are increasing.
Review of 2016
At Pierce Manufacturing, 2016 was a good year on different fronts. “We had a good year,” says Matt McLeish, vice president, sales and marketing. “It was almost a duplicate of our FY15 in general. Our dealers continued to shine for us.” McLeish says that Pierce invested in its dealer network in 2016, adding service capabilities across the country. “In an 18-month period, they added in excess of 200,000 square feet of service facilities throughout North America,” he says. “So, it was really an opportunity for us to work with them on moving and developing their infrastructure. They’ve really gone from being truck salespeople to really strong business dealerships with a wide variety of products, which makes them a lot more stable. McLeish also cites the company’s Ascendant aerial ladder as part of the company’s 2016 success. “The other story of the year is our Ascendant product and the tremendous success it has had in the ladder market.”